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Christianity

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2015

Louisiana State University

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Full-Text Articles in Arts and Humanities

Agnes In Agony: Damasus, Ambrose, Prudentius, And The Construction Of The Female Martyr Narrative, Eric James Poche' Jan 2015

Agnes In Agony: Damasus, Ambrose, Prudentius, And The Construction Of The Female Martyr Narrative, Eric James Poche'

LSU Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation examines the earliest surviving sources on the virgin martyr Agnes. Agnes is significant due to the popularity of her cult and the large number of early sources recounting her martyrdom. This dissertation argues that the fourth-century bishops Damasus and Ambrose, along with the Christian poet Prudentius, helped construct the narrative of Agnes’ passion in order to help popularize her cult throughout western Christendom. In an effort to promote virgin asceticism to their communities, they endorsed Agnes as the dominant exemplum for female piety in the west. By doing so, they associated themselves with the influential martyr. Since Agnes ...